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H.B. 217






Sponsor: Margaret Dayton

             6      This act modifies the Public Safety Code by providing that the Bureau of Criminal
             7      Identification will issue private investigator licenses within a specified number of days,
             8      and that the Private Investigator Hearing and Licensure Board will hear appeals from
             9      the bureau's decisions, rather than issuing the licenses. The act amends the definition of
             10      direct supervision. The act also allows the bureau to consider mitigating circumstances
             11      when reviewing the applicant's good moral character. This act takes effect on July 1,
             12      2003.
             13      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             14      AMENDS:
             15          53-9-102, as last amended by Chapter 212, Laws of Utah 1998
             16          53-9-103, as last amended by Chapter 212, Laws of Utah 1998
             17          53-9-105, as last amended by Chapter 212, Laws of Utah 1998
             18          53-9-106, as enacted by Chapter 314, Laws of Utah 1995
             19          53-9-108, as last amended by Chapter 212, Laws of Utah 1998
             20          53-9-113, as last amended by Chapter 212, Laws of Utah 1998
             21      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             22          Section 1. Section 53-9-102 is amended to read:
             23           53-9-102. Definitions.
             24          In this chapter, unless otherwise stated:
             25          (1) "Adequate records" means records containing, at a minimum, sufficient information
             26      to identify the client, the dates of service, the fee for service, the payments for service, the type
             27      of service given, and copies of any reports that may have been made.

             28          (2) "Advertising" means the submission of bids, contracting or making known by any
             29      public notice, publication, or solicitation of business, directly or indirectly, that services
             30      regulated under this chapter are available for consideration.
             31          (3) "Agency" means a person who holds an agency license pursuant to this chapter, and
             32      includes one who employs an individual for wages and salary, and withholds all legally
             33      required deductions and contributions, or contracts with a registrant or an apprentice on a
             34      part-time or case-by-case basis to conduct an investigation on behalf of the agency.
             35          (4) "Applicant" means any person who has submitted a completed application and all
             36      required fees.
             37          (5) "Apprentice" means a person who holds an apprentice license pursuant to this
             38      chapter, has not met the requirements for registration, and works under the direct supervision
             39      and guidance of an agency.
             40          (6) "Board" means the Private Investigator Hearing and Licensure Board created in
             41      Section 53-9-104 .
             42          (7) "Bureau" means the Bureau of Criminal Identification created in Section
             43      53-10-201 .
             44          [(7)] (8) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.
             45          [(8)] (9) "Conviction" means an adjudication of guilt by a federal, state, or local court
             46      resulting from trial or plea, including a plea of no contest, regardless of whether the imposition
             47      of sentence was suspended.
             48          [(9)] (10) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.
             49          [(10)] (11) "Direct supervision" means that the agency or employer:
             50          (a) is responsible for, and authorizes, the type and extent of work assigned;
             51          (b) reviews and approves all work produced by the apprentice before it goes to the
             52      client; [and]
             53          (c) [closely] supervises and provides direction and guidance to the apprentice in the
             54      performance of his assigned work; and
             55          (d) is immediately available to the apprentice for verbal contact, including by
             56      electronic means.
             57          [(11)] (12) "Emergency action" means a summary suspension of a license pending
             58      revocation, suspension, or probation in order to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.

             59          [(12)] (13) "Employee" means an individual who works for an agency or other
             60      employer, is listed on the agency's or employer's payroll records, and is under the agency's or
             61      employer's direction and control. An employee is not an independent contractor.
             62          [(13)] (14) "Identification card" means a card issued by the commissioner to a qualified
             63      applicant for an agency, registrant, or apprentice license.
             64          [(14)] (15) "Letter of concern" means an advisory letter to notify a licensee that while
             65      there is insufficient evidence to support probation, suspension, or revocation of a license, the
             66      department informs the licensee of the need to modify or eliminate certain practices and that
             67      continuation of the activities that led to the information being submitted to the department may
             68      result in further disciplinary action against the licensee.
             69          [(15)] (16) "Licensee" means a person to whom an agency, registrant, or apprentice
             70      license is issued by the department.
             71          [(16)] (17) (a) "Private investigator or private detective" means any person, except
             72      collection agencies and credit reporting agencies, who, for consideration, engages in business
             73      or accepts employment to conduct any investigation for the purpose of obtaining information
             74      with reference to:
             75          (i) crime, wrongful acts, or threats against the United States or any state or territory of
             76      the United States;
             77          (ii) the identity, reputation, character, habits, conduct, business occupation, honesty,
             78      integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movements,
             79      whereabouts, affiliations, associations, or transactions of any person or group of persons;
             80          (iii) the credibility of witnesses or other persons;
             81          (iv) the whereabouts of missing persons or owners of abandoned property;
             82          (v) the causes and origin of, or responsibility for a fire, libel, slander, a loss, an
             83      accident, damage, or an injury to real or personal property;
             84          (vi) the business of securing evidence to be used before investigating committees or
             85      boards of award or arbitration or in the trial of civil or criminal cases and the trial preparation;
             86          (vii) the prevention, detection, and removal of installed devices for eavesdropping or
             87      observation;
             88          (viii) the business of "skip tracing" persons who have become delinquent in their
             89      lawful debts, either when hired by an individual, collection agency, or through the direct

             90      purchase of the debt from a financial institution or entity owning the debt or judgment; or
             91          (ix) serving civil process.
             92          (b) "Private investigator or private detective" does not include:
             93          (i) any person or employee conducting an investigation on the person's or employee's
             94      own behalf or on behalf of the employer if the employer is not a private investigator under this
             95      chapter; or
             96          (ii) an employee of an attorney licensed to practice law in this state.
             97          [(17)] (18) "Qualifying party" means the individual meeting the qualifications under
             98      this chapter for a private investigator license.
             99          [(18)] (19) "Registrant" means any person who holds a registrant license pursuant to
             100      this chapter. The registrant performs private investigative work either as an employee on an
             101      employer's payroll or, on a contract with an agency, part-time, or case-by-case basis, with a
             102      minimum amount of direction.
             103          [(19)] (20) "Restructuring" means any change in the legal status of a business.
             104          [(20)] (21) "Unprofessional conduct" means any of the following:
             105          (a) engaging or offering to engage by fraud or misrepresentation in any activities
             106      regulated by this chapter;
             107          (b) aiding or abetting a person who is not licensed pursuant to this chapter in
             108      representing that person as a private investigator or registrant in this state;
             109          (c) gross negligence in the practice of a private investigator or registrant;
             110          (d) failing or refusing to maintain adequate records and investigative findings on a
             111      subject of investigation or a client;
             112          (e) committing a felony or a misdemeanor involving any crime that is grounds for
             113      denial, suspension, or revocation of an agency, registrant, or apprentice license. In all cases,
             114      conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction or a plea of no contest is conclusive evidence of
             115      the commission of the crime; or
             116          (f) making a fraudulent or untrue statement to the bureau, board, department, or its
             117      investigators, staff, or consultants.
             118          Section 2. Section 53-9-103 is amended to read:
             119           53-9-103. Commissioner of Public Safety to administer -- Duties -- Records --
             120      Bonds -- Rulemaking.

             121          (1) The commissioner of the Department of Public Safety shall administer this chapter.
             122          (2) (a) The bureau, acting at the direction of the commissioner, shall issue a private
             123      investigator license to any applicant who meets qualifications for licensure under Section
             124      53-9-108 .
             125          (b) The bureau shall issue the license to a qualified applicant within three business days
             126      of receipt of the application.
             127          [(2)] (3) (a) The [commissioner] bureau shall keep records of:
             128          [(a)] (i) all applications for licenses under this chapter; and
             129          [(b)] (ii) all bonds and proof of workers' compensation required to be filed.
             130          [(3)] (b) The records shall include statements as to whether a license or renewal license
             131      has been issued for each application and bond.
             132          (4) If a license is revoked, suspended, canceled, or denied or if a licensee is placed on
             133      probation, the date of filing the order for revocation, suspension, cancellation, denial, or
             134      probation shall be included in the records.
             135          (5) The [commissioner] bureau shall maintain a list of all licensees that have had a
             136      license revoked, suspended, placed on probation, or canceled and a written record of
             137      complaints filed against licensees.
             138          (6) The commissioner may make rules in accordance with Title 63, Chapter 46a, Utah
             139      Administrative Rulemaking Act, necessary to administer this chapter.
             140          Section 3. Section 53-9-105 is amended to read:
             141           53-9-105. Powers and duties of the board.
             142          (1) The board shall:
             143          [(a) review all applications for licenses and renewals of licenses for private
             144      investigators and make recommendations to the commissioner for approval or disapproval;
             145      and]
             146          (a) upon receiving a timely filed petition, review within a reasonable time the denial,
             147      suspension, or revocation of a private investigator license; and
             148          (b) review all complaints and make recommendations to the commissioner regarding
             149      disciplinary action.
             150          (2) The board may take and hear evidence, administer oaths and affirmations, and
             151      compel by subpoena the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, records,

             152      documents, and other information relating to a formal complaint against or department
             153      investigation of a private investigator.
             154          Section 4. Section 53-9-106 is amended to read:
             155           53-9-106. Meetings -- Hearings.
             156          (1) The board shall meet quarterly, unless the board has no business to conduct during
             157      that quarter, and shall also meet at the call of the chair[, but not less than once each quarter].
             158          (2) A quorum consists of three members.
             159          (3) If a member has three unexcused absences within a 12-month period, the board may
             160      hold a hearing to determine if that board member should be released from board duties.
             161          Section 5. Section 53-9-108 is amended to read:
             162           53-9-108. Qualifications for licensure.
             163          (1) (a) An applicant for an agency license under this chapter shall be at least 21 years of
             164      age, a citizen or legal resident of the United States, and of good moral character.
             165          (b) An applicant may not have been:
             166          (i) convicted of a felony;
             167          (ii) convicted of any act involving illegally using, carrying, or possessing a dangerous
             168      weapon;
             169          (iii) convicted of any act of personal violence or force on any person or convicted of
             170      threatening to commit any act of personal violence or force against another person;
             171          (iv) convicted of any act constituting dishonesty or fraud;
             172          (v) convicted of any act involving moral turpitude;
             173          (vi) placed on probation or parole;
             174          (vii) named in an outstanding arrest warrant; or
             175          (viii) convicted of illegally obtaining or disclosing private, controlled, or protected
             176      records as provided in Section 63-2-801 .
             177          (c) In assessing good moral character under Subsection (1)(b), the bureau shall
             178      consider any mitigating circumstances presented by an applicant regarding information under
             179      Subsections (1)(b)(vi) and(viii).
             180          [(c)] (d) If previously or currently licensed in another state or jurisdiction, the applicant
             181      shall be in good standing within that state or jurisdiction.
             182          [(d)] (e) An applicant shall have completed a minimum of two years, or 2,000 hours, of

             183      investigative experience that consists of actual work performed as a private investigator for a
             184      private agency, the federal government, or a state, county, or municipal government.
             185          [(e)] (f) (i) An applicant for an agency license shall substantiate investigative work
             186      experience claimed as years of qualifying experience and provide the exact details as to the
             187      character and nature of the experience on a form prescribed by the department and certified by
             188      the applicant's employers.
             189          (ii) If the applicant is unable to supply written certification from an employer in whole
             190      or in part, the applicant may offer written certification from persons other than an employer
             191      covering the same subject matter for consideration by the [board] bureau.
             192          (iii) The applicant shall prove completion of the required experience to the satisfaction
             193      of the [board] bureau and the [board] bureau may independently verify any certification offered
             194      on behalf of the applicant.
             195          (2) (a) An applicant for a registrant license shall meet all qualification standards of this
             196      section, except Subsection (1)(d). An applicant shall have a minimum of one year, or 1,000
             197      hours, of investigative experience that consists of actual work performed as a private
             198      investigator for a private agency, the federal government, a state, county, or municipal
             199      government.
             200          (b) A licensed registrant shall only work as an employee of, or an independent
             201      contractor with, licensed agencies as provided in Subsection 53-9-102 [(18)] (19), and may not:
             202          (i) advertise his services or conduct investigations for the general public; or
             203          (ii) employ other private investigators or hire them as independent contractors.
             204          (3) (a) An applicant for an apprentice license, lacking the experience required for a
             205      registrant license, shall meet all of the qualification standards in Subsection (1), except
             206      Subsection (1)(d) and complete an apprentice application.
             207          (b) An apprentice shall work under the direct supervision and guidance of a licensed
             208      agency, full-time for one year, or 1,000 hours, prior to eligibility for a registrant license. A
             209      licensed apprentice shall only work under the direction of a licensed agency as provided in
             210      Subsection 53-9-102 (5), and may not:
             211          (i) advertise his services or conduct investigations for the general public; or
             212          (ii) employ other private investigators.
             213          (4) (a) An applicant for an agency, registrant, or apprentice license may be eligible for a

             214      license without meeting all or part of the investigative work experience required by this section
             215      if the applicant:
             216          (i) has a criminal justice degree from an accredited college or university;
             217          (ii) is certified by Peace Officer Standards and Training; or
             218          (iii) can substantiate other similar law enforcement or investigative training in the
             219      areas set forth in Subsection 53-9-102 [(16)] (17).
             220          (b) The [board] bureau shall determine whether or not training may replace the work
             221      experience requirement and to what extent.
             222          Section 6. Section 53-9-113 is amended to read:
             223           53-9-113. Grounds for denial of a license -- Appeal.
             224          (1) The [board] bureau may deny a license or the renewal of a license if the applicant
             225      has:
             226          (a) committed an act that, if committed by a licensee, would be grounds for probation,
             227      suspension, or revocation of a license under this chapter;
             228          (b) employed or contracted with a person who has been refused a license under this
             229      chapter or who has had a license revoked;
             230          (c) while not licensed under this chapter, committed, or aided and abetted the
             231      commission of, any act for which a license is required by this chapter; or
             232          (d) knowingly made a material misstatement in connection with an application for a
             233      license or renewal of a license.
             234          (2) (a) The [board's] bureau's denial of a license under this chapter shall:
             235          (i) be in writing;
             236          (ii) describe the basis for the denial; and
             237          (iii) inform the applicant that if the applicant desires a hearing to contest the denial, the
             238      applicant shall submit a request in writing to the board within 30 days after the denial has been
             239      sent by the department by certified mail to the applicant.
             240          (b) The board shall schedule a hearing on the denial for the next board meeting after
             241      the applicant's request for a hearing has been received by the board.
             242          (3) The decision of the board may be appealed to the commissioner, who may:
             243          (a) return the case to the board for reconsideration;
             244          (b) modify the board's decision; or

             245          (c) reverse the board's decision.
             246          (4) The department shall promptly issue a final order of the commissioner and send the
             247      order to the applicant.
             248          (5) Decisions of the commissioner are subject to judicial review pursuant to Section
             249      63-46b-15 .
             250          Section 7. Effective date.
             251          This act takes effect on July 1, 2003.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 8-23-02 2:04 PM

A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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